Three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of over 2000 patient records that were used in lodgment of fraudulent tax returns.
Two of them worked for the Orange County Health Department in Florida but did not actually work together or know each other. They provided the information to the same identity thieves that lodged the false tax returns. The third person that did not work at the health department was charged with facilitating some of the transactions.
The tax return claims lodged totaled $4 million, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Gerald Williams was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in federal prison.
Shanterica Smith was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison.
Delray Duncan was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in federal prison.
Others involved in helping file the fake returns have not been charged yet and the investigation is ongoing.
Medical records are one of the most common types of personal information obtained by identity thieves. It is a sad situation when we can no longer trust our doctors and pharmacies to keep this information safe.
76 year old Ronald Kielar worked as a pharmacist on the north side of Chicago and used customers’ identities to fake prescriptions between 2004 and 2010. He falsified more than 600 claims for a prescription drug that increases the production of red blood cells and charged insurance companies that were never distributed from a pharmacy in Rogers Park that was owned by his ex-wife.
He collected roughly $1.7 million from the scheme, which he used to finance mortgages on homes in Illinois, Florida and Arizona.
Ronald Kielar, 76, was convicted at trial last fall of health care fraud, obstruction of justice and identity theft. A federal judge sentenced Kielar today. He received five years for the health care fraud and obstruction convictions and a consecutive two-year sentence for identity theft.
In addition to his sentence, Kielar was ordered to pay more than $1.725 million in restitution and forfeit nearly $78,000 from the sale of a home in Florida.
Kielar must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. He will begin serving his sentence June 10.
There is a lot of discussion about how our records are securely stored and who can have access to them but the real problem right now seems to be with those that already have authorized access.
The has been yet another identity theft of Hospital Patient records by an employee. The Detroit Medical Center announced in early March that more than a thousand Harper University Hospital patients have been stolen. Harper University Hospital sent letters to 1,087 who were affected after learning about the security breach from the West Bloomfield Police Department.
Police discovered personal documents in the possession of an employee including personal health information, such as name, date of birth, the reason for patient’s visit, and in some cases social security numbers during an identity theft investigation. The West Bloomfield Police Department said in a statement it “is partnering with local and federal agencies regarding this investigation.”
Hospital officials said they immediately revoked the employee’s access to its computer systems and all Detroit Medical Center (DMC) hospitals and the employee is no longer employed by the health system. The hospital has offered free credit monitoring to the affected patients.
An wide ranging identity theft ring comprising four women has been busted and all sentenced to prison terms.
The ring targeted retired state employees and was made possible by Roxanne Deflorin who used her position working for the Minnesota state Government where she had access to social security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers to steal more the 500 identities which the three other women used in various scams.
• Shauntell Burg, 32, of St. Paul, pled guilty in October 2013 to one count of Identity Theft. She received a 7.3 years sentence on March 6 and was ordered to pay $149,000 in restitution.
• Kristin Warren, 40, of St. Paul, pled guilty in November 2013 to one count of Identity Theft. She was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on Jan. 28.
• Andrea Gunderson, 30, pled guilty in October 2013 to one count of Identity Theft. She was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on Dec. 11, 2013.
• Roxanne Deflorin, 50, of St. Paul was the last sentenced in Ramsey County District Court. She received 4 1/2 years in prison for her role in the 2013 theft and possession of hundreds of individual identities
All were required to pay back substantial sums of money to the victims.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said:
“This case was made possible due to the hard work of law enforcement, in particular the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, Minnesota Financial Crimes Taskforce and the financial fraud unit in my office,”
“The defendants caused havoc and significant concern for the personal identities of hundreds of hard-working employees and retirees.”
“As incidents of financial fraud become more pervasive in our community, it is our identities that are needed to perpetuate many of these fraudulent schemes,”
“In partnership with law enforcement, my office has placed a new emphasis around identity theft. In fact, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has tripled the number identity theft cases charged annually since 2011.”
We tend to think of identity thieves as professional criminals and may try guard against allowing such strangers access to your personal information but often the theft of your personal information is not perpetrated by the criminal that will carry out the actual identity fraud. It could be the smiling receptionist you hand over your personal information to or an unseen office worker out the back that processes your personal data.
This was the case with a student recently charged with stealing patient information while working in a medical billing job
Reon Jordan is a Los Angeles woman who worked for a medical billing company and now faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing the identities of hundreds of patients according to ABC News reports. She was taking medical billing classes at West Los Angeles College and was arrested and charged with 21 counts of identity theft after a nine-month investigation by the community college bureau.
Reon Jordan previously worked for the ABEO medical billing, where she allegedly obtained identifying information for patients and then used it to pay for classes and school-related expenses. Authorities found more than 400 identity profiles and complete credit card information for 200 people when they arrested Jordan. The investigation has identified 23 victims from locations including Los Angeles, Mammoth Lakes, Tennessee and Mississippi but investigating detectives believe there are other victims as well.
Jordan’s bail was set at $1.2 million, and if convicted, she faces more than 19 years in state prison to be served in county jail.
What if one day, while surfing online, you find out someone has the exact same name as yours? Perhaps having the same name can just be a coincidence, but what if you find out that apart from having exactly the same name, someone else has the same exact birthday, address, and works at the very same place as yours? But here’s an even worse scenario — what if you find out someone has been using your identity, your personal accounts (yes even credit cards and bank accounts) and doing things you’ve never imagined you would really do? Scary? But guess what, it might happen to you!
Identity theft isn’t new, it’s something that has been around long before the World Wide Web was born. Identity theft is simply the fraudulent acquisition of another person’s personal information, and using the acquired information for one’s own personal gain (usually one’s financial gain). Literally, it means stealing a person’s identity and using that person’s identity to take advantage of that person’s resources.
Just like everything in the world, identity theft is something that’s fast-paced and very innovative. That is why it is extremely important to be attuned and up to date with the latest buzz about identity theft.
To protect your personal information and identity, they say that you shouldn’t trust just anyone online because cyber criminals could be anywhere! For your own safety online, YOU CAN TRUST US — you can trust us to give you the latest news and updates about anything under the sun concerning identity theft and how you can guard yourself against it.